Ice Jams on Penns Creek Create Problems for Nearby Residents

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LEWIS TOWNSHIP -- Getting in or out of a community in Union County is nearly impossible thanks to an ice jam.

The ice jam is along Penns Creek in Lewis Township, near Millmont.

People who live near Penns Creek tell Newswatch 16 this is the worst ice jam they've ever seen. The ice started to form Friday night and never melted.

Millmont Road was closed because of flooding. Vehicles cannot get in or out which is bad news for about 300 people who live in this community.

Heart and Soul Holsteins means a lot to Doug Boop.

"This is how I make my living."

So when it comes to his dairy cows and 40,000 chickens, their care is a priority. That's why the ice jam by his home near Millmont is concerning. Flooding closed the road so Boop cannot get feed for his chickens.

"We can't get the tractor-trailers through the water. No trucking company wants to cross it," he said.

"When it jammed up, it always left the next day or something, but now it refroze and now it's just getting worse," said George Heimbach.

"I just want them to get rid of it. I don't care how they do it," Boop said.

Normally, the closed road wouldn't be a problem because there is another bridge right down the road. Unfortunately, that bridge is closed for renovation, so it's unusable.

"The third bridge is the covered bridge that they closed down, so this is the only access in and out," Heimbach said.

A detour opened on a private road, but people are concerned because the detour is not wide enough for fire trucks or ambulances.

"Emergency personnel can't even get over here. God forbid anything would happen to anybody," said Heimbach.

In addition to EMS workers not being able to get through, school buses can't either.

Terryl Mingle is the regional manager for Rohrer Bus Service which is contracted through Mifflinburg Area School District. She was there trying to figure out how they will be able to get to the kids.

"I don't think we're going to be able to. I just hope they come up with a plan of action, the district, that they can get them out to us."

PennDOT is aware of the situation and cleared the roads over the weekend. The Department of Environmental Protection is meeting with PEMA and officials in Union County on Tuesday.

Keep an eye on river and stream levels near you here.

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